Game recap by: Kirk Jessome
(Halifax, NS) – In night two of a back to back, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the UPEI Panthers at the Halifax Forum. After the Tigers took a commanding lead, the Panthers scored three unanswered to force a shootout and secure the 5-4 victory over the Tigers.
It was a slow start from both sides, with only a few shots per side through most of the period, scoring chances were minimal.
The Tigers were given the first power play of the game late in the period, and were finally able to generate a scoring chance when Dillon Boucher (Head Chezzetcook, NS) sent a pass across the slot to Chandler Yakimowicz (Kingston, PA) at the faceoff dot, and he finished off the play with a hard one-timer to open the scoring.
The last minute goal was the lone scoring chance in the 1-0 first period.
Special teams were working for the Tigers, with an early power play opportunity in the second period giving Connor Welsh (Halifax, NS) all kinds of room at the point to send in a low shot that ended up short side, just over the pad of Matthew Mancina (Windsor, ON). Mancina had no chance at the play with Jonathan Cyr (Ottawa, ON) providing a tough screen in front of him.
The Tigers continued to hold stints of pressure in the attacking end, this time with the puck working around the point to Kyle Yewchuk (Calgary, AB) who fired a hard shot that was stopped, but the rebound bounced back into the high slot for Alex Pawelczyk (Detroit, MI) to drive in from the line and hammer home the rebound to make it 3-0.
Finally able to generate a solid scoring chance, the Panthers broke into the attack zone midway through the period with Owen Headrick (Garden River, ON) leading the charge. Headrick made a nifty drop pass to leave it for Kameron Kielly (Charlottetown, PEI) who wired a one-timed shot over the far side pad of Reilly Pickard (Halifax, NS) to get the Panthers on the board.
The Tigers added one more late in the period, with Jackson Playfair (Fort St. James, BC) controlling the puck deep in the attacking end, and laying it off for Duncan MacIntyre (Sydney, NS) to fire a hard shot through a crowd that beat Mancina to make it 4-1.
After an explosive second period, the Tigers led 4-1 over the Panthers.
The Panthers began their fight back into the game early in the third period on a great breakout from their own zone saw Kielly drop a nice pass off to Filip Rydstrom (Stockholm, SWE) across the line. Rydstrom showed great patience in waiting for a teammate to move across the crease and provide a screen before sending his wrist shot home to bring it to 4-2.
The Panthers continued to work their way back into it, with a very strange goal coming off the stick of Headrick that looked like it was going high over the net, but it took a bounce off multiple players in front and ended up in the bottom corner to bring the Panthers within one.
With under two minutes to go, the Panthers elected to pull Mancina to bring in the extra attacker, looking to even it up. The risk payed off for them as they won an offensive zone faceoff back to Headrick who took a shot that was going wide, but Gabe Guertler (Plantation, FL) was able to redirect it around Pickard to tie the game up with just 50 seconds left.
With three unanswered goals, the Panthers forced a 3-on-3 overtime. The overtime period solved nothing however, and this game headed to a shootout.
After the first five shooters were unsuccessful, Cody Payne (Davie, FL) came down on Pickard and waited him out on the backhand to lift the puck over the pad and secure the 5-4 win for the Panthers.
The shootout winner earned Payne the title of Subway Player of the Game in the comeback win.
The Tigers will have a quick turnaround when they take on Acadia in a very important matchup for playoff positioning. The Panthers will continue their road trip next Saturday when they face Moncton.